Rep. Mike Shirkey defends "right-to-work" legislation

Jan 24, 2012

CORRECTION - An earlier version of this story stated that Right To Work legislation had already been introduced in the Michigan House. It has not. Representative Shirkey plans to introduce the legislation soon.

 

Right-to-work laws would prohibit workers from being required to join a union or pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment.

Republican Rep. Mike Shirkey plans to introduce right-to-work legislation in the House.

He told Michigan Radio's Jennifer White, “I don’t believe unions are evil. This is not about getting rid of unions what so ever. It is simply about providing the opportunity for each individual to choose whether they want to belong to a union or not."

Shirkey, who spoke briefly at a forum held by opponents of the measure Monday night says he learned a lot from the meeting.

"I learned a new phrase...so [union members] they refer to the states that have compulsory union laws as, " free bargaining states," that's the first time I've heard that...so I'm going to spend some time studying my naval on what that really means."

Although Gov. Snyder has said he is opposed to a right-to-work bill, Shirkey doesn't think the Governor should be the only person to take the lead on every tough issue.

And Shirkey is not concerned that pushing right-to-work in the legislature will hurt his chance for re-election. He says if people don't vote for him in November "it's their prerogative."

Shirkey says, "I'm committed to doing what I think is the right thing to do for Michigan, and this is one of them."